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KITCHEN CUTLERY > KNIFE SHARPENERS >SHARPENING STEELS
CHOOSING AND USING A SHARPENING STEEL
Choosing (and using) the Appropriate Steel
As a knife is used, the edge will tend to
"roll over" or turn to the left or right.
 This causes the knife to be dull
as the steel at the edge of the blade
has gotten out of alignment. Quality knives
have a degree of elasticity which will
allow Whetting (realignment) of the edge
to be done fairly easily.  Hold your knife
at about a 20-25 degree angle and use a
regular cut steel. (if you have Messermeister's
knives with the Elite Edge, use a Fine Cut steel,
and hold it at a 15-20 degree angle)

For most knives you will want to whet
about seven or eight strokes on each side.
The motion is just as if you are trying to
slice a sliver from the side of the steel.
Use of a steel does not remove metal,
but merely realigns the edge, thereby
prolonging the life of your fine cutlery.
 
As time goes by (it will vary from knife
to knife) a steel will no longer work its
magic. At that time, your knife will have
to be reground. You can either send
it to a professiona
l or do it yourself.

If you choose to do it yourself, choose
your "weapon". You may select either a pull through
style (brutal), a Diamond steel, a ceramic sharpener
or a bench stone. Any of these sharpeners
will regrind the knife's edge to the desired
sharpness. ( the diamond "steel" is not a
true steel but a steel shaped sharpener that
will remove metal with diamond particles)
Merely hold the knife at the
appropriate angle (same as above) and
grind one side first using about the same
technique as with your steel. You are
basically trying to slice a very thin sliver
from the sharpener. You should see a
consistently ground angle all along the
edge with no shiny places. Now turn the
knife over and repeat. Your goal now is to
create a tiny burr along the entire edge.
When that is accomplished, touch up
the edge with your steel.  
Please do not use any of the "pull through"
style sharpeners on your Elite edge Messermeister knives.
These sharpeners tend to remove more metal
than may be necessary and we do not recommend them.
 
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